Various Artists

Johnny Greenwood is the Controller
(Trojan/Sanctuary)

During its heyday in the '70s, reggae powerhouse Trojan Records never released an album in the U.S., but Trojan imports were must-haves for every serious reggae collection. Although it's not obvious in his work with Radiohead, Johnny Greenwood is a huge reggae fan, and he's one of the few non-reggae artists selected by Trojan to curate a compilation celebrating their 40th anniversary. Greenwood's selections include ska, dub, rocksteady and roots reggae by artists familiar and obscure. Highlights include Marci Aitken's "I'm Still in Love," a girl-group groove delivered with an achingly vulnerable vocal; an eerie cover of little Willie John's "Fever" by crooner Junior Byles; "Beautiful and Dangerous," a British and Jamaican hit by Desmond Dekker & The Aces; an extreme dub track called "A Ruffer Version," credited to Johnny Clarke & The Aggrovators, the main session band for producer Bunny Lee; and the purring sexuality of Marcia Griffiths' "Gypsy Man," a reinvention of Jerry Butler's "Gypsy Woman."

 
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